Mrs. Clinton, unwisely?unless Bauerle's question was rigged?answered with an emphatic no, instead of correctly refusing to participate in such trash. By caving in to the gutterball tactics of a hack journalist seeking cheap thrills and momentary fame, the First Lady just encouraged others to do the same during the campaign. The following day, Mayor Giuliani said, "I know there are questions I won't answer because I think your private life should remain private. I actually think people respect you more when you do that."
In Hillary's case, we're not sure. It's no accident that her poll numbers, according to a Daily News/New York 1 poll released last Friday, spiked upward for the first time in months. Mrs. Clinton has always fared better with potential voters when she's viewed as a victim. Thus the skepticism over whether or not the Buffalo radio host was in league with Clinton's team. Honestly, would anyone be surprised?
McCain's Luck Arizona Sen. John McCain has gotten a lot of mileage in the past two weeks over New York's Byzantine primary rules, even though there's evidence that he's practiced similar tactics in his home state. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the state's entire election apparatus needs to be simplified. It's not fair that McCain, Alan Keyes, Orrin Hatch and Gary Bauer (Steve Forbes has the money to overcome the GOP-imposed hurdles) won't all appear on the March ballot with Gov. Bush. Similarly, it's absurd that New York's primaries are in September, a mere six weeks before the general election. In the case of a vigorously contested race, the eventual winner is often at a disadvantage in November, short of money and vigor.
Gov. Bush should have given the nod to Gov. George Pataki and the GOP machine to soften the primary's strict requirements. Still, if McCain were the frontrunner, we doubt his position would be any different from Bush's. The so-called "maverick" has gained enormous attention in this skirmish, even saying last week, "I keep trying to remind the Governor and [state party chairman Bill] Powers that the Berlin Wall is down. The days of one candidate appearing on a ballot disappeared when the Soviet Union collapsed in most parts of the world."
Bully for the "insurgent" candidate. Meanwhile, editorials like The Boston Globe's of Jan. 19, headlined "Boss Bush?," are just so much hyperbole. Let's remember that McCain is the preferred candidate of the Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post. We wonder if they'd cover this battle with such sanctimony if their candidate were the New York GOP's establishment choice.